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Christiaan

Easier editing of PIOs en masse

Question

There's a limitation in VectorWorks which I've commented on here (see quote below).

What I'd like is some kind of system for easily editing PIOs en masse. I'm not sure what I think is the best way to implement this but it might include the ability to select multiple objects within a wall and maybe the ability to link PIOs of your choosing so that when you edit certain parts of one of them the others change as well.

The current paradigm of symbols and PIOs means that when you choose to make your symbol using a PIO you lose the ability of that PIO to interact intelligently with the rest of your model. But if you use PIOs on their own they can become cumbersome and prone to mistakes when you need to edit them en masse.

One problem I've had with the loss of intelligence, for instance, when using a PIO-based window symbol was that it meant my windows no longer new which were the left and rights sides of the wall (so they didn't insert how I expected) and I couldn't use PIO features such as wall cavity returns. (and you have the same limitation with regard to records)

My immediate reaction was to suggest that VectorWorks should be altered so that symbols didn't stop PIOs from being intelligent, but, as Islandmon pointed out in response at the time, the behaivoural limitations of symbols can be viewed not as a weakness but as a strength, forcing awareness of precise insertions as well as protecting against undesirable global changes from outside the Resource's container.

So it seems to me that there needs to be a new paradigm altogether, one that makes the editing of PIOs en masse as easy as editing a symbol.

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PIO doors and Wins are only good for storing in sym defs, but in order to work efficiently, they have to expand to PIO objects when they are placed.

I beg to differ. In an average (residential) architectural project in Finland there would be (as a guesstimate) 400 to 1000 windows of 10 to 20 types. I definitely don't want them to be PIOs (although I do create most my window symbols with my own Window PIO.)

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Petri, do you have a good win pio with detailed frame sections? 2D only is enough.

vsd

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No, we don't do details in plans.

I know you do in Germany - puzzling! Don't your builders, window manufacturers and tradespeople know what a window is like & how it is installed? I consider things like this (i) redundant, (ii) superfluous and (iii) condescending.

The architect knows what the details are like, so does the builder. There is no need for the architect to draw them.

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No Petri. I am responsible up to 30 years for everything built. If a mistake pops up in this time, first thing they check if the drawings were clean. If something was missing or wrong I'm done. I have to pay.

So I draw the whole lot up to 1:5. smile.gif

So I need detailed PIOs for windows. And much more still.

I'll make myself the PIOs.

vsd

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Well, that's exactly why I would not rely on a PIO, not even one programmed by myself!

I have no idea how your working drawings are done, but here the plans & elevations only show what goes where; how it is done is shown in detail drawings and diagrams. Whether a window of a particular type in a particular wall type is this size or that size, the details are the same.

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It is not that we want to keep the costs up. We must do it. If the client cannot pay, that's only too bad for us. We must do it for free. The risk of having to pay for some error is much more expensive than our own time.

Even if we only would do permits drawings, we are responsible for what is built. Even if it is built by someone else.

The whole detailing goes according to the DIN rules. The DIN rules are a huge beast. They cover everything and are a hell to master in depth.

The german client is very different by the american client. He is expecting the architect to know everything. At any point he can claim that we didn't explain something properly or did something wrong and can refuse to pay us. And has a right to.

A pio Door or Win taking frames from the (boundless) DIN library would be a very useful thing indeed. I solve this with symbols, but it is too time consuming to manage this on many files.

Please mind that an average project here in Berlin is to renovate some house with 3000 sq m/9800 sq feets. As an average this house would have some 50 flats. If some mistakes pops up, there are rules for decreasing the rent that is paid for flat. We can be made responsible for this loss of income.

And it happens all the time.

We currently have a process going on involving lawyers, consultants and whatever, about a baking tin, one of these things which are inside a stove, already when you buy it. The tenant claims that it wasn't there when he moved in. We claim it was, when we let 43 ovens be installed in the whole house. But we didn't put this in the protocol listing everything in that newly renovated flat. We are probably losing the process!

LOL! Next time I'll draw the backing tin! That would have made us win the process.

We have another process going on about a tenant who claims that his hot water consume is very high. The firm who made the piping died in the German recession, so we are now responsible for the piping, because we planned it.

We are requested to pay for his hot water consume in the last 8 years. The whole consume!

We are now trying to lower down the price to the eventual extra consume due to our "mistake" (we couldn't change a part of the piping because another tenant refused to, so it remained 50 years old).

Is it also like that in USA or Finland?

I doubt it.

Orso

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Is it also like that in USA or Finland?

I doubt it.

Nothing like it here - but here we do not "build" our projects the same way I understand you do.

We have a new concept here, somewhat difficult to translate, but something like "the chief designer", who is responsible for a lot ot things, much more than an architect used to be. In many cases, an engineer has this role (although I don't understand how an engineer could coordinate the entire design process.) You have to get a special certification for this.

In Australia, the architect is also responsible for a lot of things, but not hot water bills or baking tins!

All the more reasons for not relying on PIOs, Orso!

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What? You mean there is no DIN for baking tins?

Gastronorm would probably not be applicable for households.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make that programming a ISO 9001-certifiable and lawyer-proof PIO of windows, to be used in, say, 1:5 details, seems quite a challenge.

For Finnish timber windows that would be almost possible, since we have a standard, but there are minor variations by different manufacturers. But how about steel windows? Don't know about you, but we can't specify suppliers.

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Yes. Absolutely right.

I have some 300 hundreds wood profiles divided into DIN. But since each DIN costs a fortune I am quite unprecise as to the whole of it. I only have bits and pieces of the required DINs, only stuff that I could find online. Alone getting hold of the DINs for doing this would cost about 1500$ if not more (I actually already began this ages ago, then gave up).

Metal profiles are a horror as to the ruling. It all depends on the thermical insulation. The rules for it are dependent on the National Energy Law, which changes like crazy. No it is not possible. But at least a simple PIO loading a sym for the frame section, that could be done. And then load the sections publiced online or buy the sections from somewhere else.

Orso

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Getting back to the subject: Info Editor may not be quite ideal (being "modal"), but is still excellent.

I have only given it a couple of test runs (not had any actual need for its functionality) and can't really complain. A great job, Charles!

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It's good to read interesting perspectives on the practice of architecture in varying parts of the world. I thought architects in the US had a tough time! That baking tin story takes the cake. Unless there is a tradition of healthy fees and prerogatives for the architect in Germany, I'd have a hard time choosing to be an architect there!

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One issue I have with Info Editor as a solution to this limitation (although I still haven't tried it yet) is that it's completely data based. When I'm working on a model I can identify the objects I want to modify far quicker by their visual representation than I can by the data that makes them up.

I'd like to be able to select multiple PIOs within walls, in any view (including 3D) and across layers. And I'd like to be able to link a group of them together at my choosing and have them all change if I modify any of their common parameters.

This is not to take away from what Info Editor seeks to achieve. But rather that I think it's just one piece of the puzzle.

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March 2007:

So it seems to me that there needs to be a new paradigm altogether, one that makes the editing of PIOs en masse as easy as editing a symbol.

Enter the Select Similar tool in version 2011 (or was it v2010?). :)

Edited by Christiaan

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